Archives for 2012

Sharapova Finally Tops Sexiest Poll; Nadal wins Men’s

Maria has rematch with Lisicki.

It took eight years for Sugarpova to rule as sexiest female player.

For the first time in seven years, Maria Sharapova has won the Readers’ Poll for Sexiest Female of the Year. Sharapova

Ruminating over Rafa

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Rafa’s bad knees may never be right again.

Rafael Nadal

Heads or Tails: Who will have a better 2013?

wozniacki asian swing 12

Is Caro her generation’s leader?

Going into every new season, hundreds of questions exist in trying to determine who will be able to reach their peak and who will falter. Predictions are always difficult to make as the injury factor consistently plays a huge role in tennis. However, just for the fun of it I thought I would pose a few different opposing scenarios and select which ones I think are more probable in 2013. I will begin with the WTA.

‘Gen Caro’

Who will have better season collectively of the current top 10, these “Gen Caro” members (Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, Aga Radwanska, Angelique Kerber & Petra Kvitova) or the old guard (Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Li Na, Sara Errani and Sam Stosur)?

At some point in the future the old guard is going to fall off and Gen Caro is going to completely take over the WTA, but it

Time for the 8th Readers’ Poll

Readers: Vote for your top and sexiest players in the annual Readers’ Poll.
Rafa put a dent in Federer's GOAT label.

Rafa put a dent in Federer’s GOAT label.

It’s the eight annual Readers’ Poll, designed for our readers to sound off on their preferences.

Our most popular categories are Male and Female Players of the Year and, of course, the Sexiest Players. We’re allowing comments on the polls for the first time ever.

Sexiest Female Player Award is named after Ana Ivanovic after she won for five straight years. Sexiest Male Player Award is named after Marat Safin after he was also a five-time winner.

Last year’s winners included Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova for Players of the Year along with Rafael Nadal and Carolina Wozniacki as the sexiest. Last year’s voting can be found by clicking here. editors do not necessarily support the results of the vote, especially in the Player of the Year categories. We realize that many readers will vote for their favorites as opposed to the players who have had better results.

Polls are open for one week to Saturday, Dec. 29 with results posted on Sunday, Dec. 30.

TR Year-End Top 50: The Women, Nos. 1-5

Vika claim the year-end No. 1 slot. MAL TAAM

Vika claim the year-end No. 1 slot. MAL TAAM/MALT PHOTO

This concludes our review of the top 50 singles players in 2012 on the ATP and WTA Tours. We end with the women ranked Nos. 1 -5.

1.Victoria Azarenka

Without question, 2012 was the Belarussian

Williams, Keys Earn Shot At Aussie Open

Showing power and maturity, Rhyne Williams powered his way through Tim Smyczek to win a main draw wild card into the Australian Open.

Madison Keys repeated her 2011 victory, also earning a wild card at the USTA Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs in Norcross, Ga.

Williams, a former University of Tennessee standout, continued his march though the lineup of up-and-coming American men with a 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 victory.

With a stinging forehand and effective serve, the 21-year-old Williams came out with guns blazing in the first set. Williams’ power was negated as Milwaukee’s Smyczek counter-punched through a second set. No matter how much ground Smyczek covered, he couldn’t deal with the numerous winners Williams delivered.

Williams proved he is gaining a edge in maturity as he tempered his game and relied on patience and shot selection to dominate the second two sets.

TR Year-end Top 50s: The men, Nos. 1-5

Djokovic can now be called an all-time great.


1. Novak Djokovic

Without a doubt, the Serbian

TR Year-end Top 50s: The women, Nos. 6-10

Li has all the weaponry but is still prone to walkabouts.

Thus continues our review of the top 50 singles players on the ATP and WTA Tours. We resume with the women ranked Nos. 6 -10.

6. Sara Errani

There is strong argument to be made that Errani improved more than anyone in 2012, and while I feel that two of the lower and medium rung players improved more (Robson and Lepchenko), Errani gets my vote in the elite category, even over Angie Kerber, who also had a terrific season. What Errani did was transform herself from a run of the mill clay court player to one who could play most matches on her terms, and from a forgettable hard court player to one who could counterpunch with more zip and effectiveness.

Not only did she reach the Roland Garros final and the US Open semis in singles, but also ended the year as member of the top- ranked doubles teams with fellow Italian Roberta Vinci. She can scamper, has a fine return and under rated volley. I don’t expect her to better her year ranking in 2013, but I could see finishing in the top 10 again because she is super committed to her tennis.

7. Li Na

Even though Li has frequently said that she can

TR Year-end Top 50s: The men, Nos. 6-10

Can Tsonga find new life under Rasheed?

Thus continues our review of the top 50 singles players on the ATP and WTA Tours. We resume with the men ranked Nos. 6 -10.

6. Tomas Berdych

Sometimes I wonder if the Czech has a Thomas Johansson-like run in him to a Slam title, and I think that maybe he does, except that in all likelihood if he did say reach the 2013 Aussie Open final, he wouldn’t be facing a hung-over Marat Safin, but one of the Big 4 and he is simply not as good as any of them. Now, on a great day, or say for about 2 and

The TR Year-End Top 50s: The Women, Nos. 11-20

Thus continues our review of the top 50 singles players on the ATP and WTA Tours. We resume with the women ranked Nos. 11 -20.

11. Marion Bartoli

It was another fairly productive year for France